This year, we at FSI are expanding our efforts to spotlight our members’ opinions through regular advisor polls, in an attempt to take snapshots of the mindset of our membership. We completed our first poll last month, focusing on some of the headline political, economic, tax and regulatory issues that will impact you and your clients over the coming years, as well as on your outlook for equities performance and the economy. 

Respondents to our poll believe that the Senate will shift to Republican control; that the economy will stay flat while taxes go up; and that the Department of Labor should not redefine the term “fiduciary.” 

After all, advisors are on the front lines of securing the financial futures of hard-working Americans, and they have strong and insightful opinions. One of those strong opinions is that advisors do not believe the Department of Labor should be redefining the term fiduciary, which would have the effect of pricing millions of Americans out of advice on their IRAs. The Department would do well to listen to these advisors and keep their expert opinions in mind as they move forward. 

Here are some highlights of our first survey results, which was conducted in-house between Jan. 30 and Feb. 6, 2012, through an e-mailed link to all 35,000 advisor members of FSI:

Question 1: Who do you believe will be the GOP Presidential nominee (not who do you want to win, but who will end up winning)?

Mitt Romney        90%

Ron Paul             1%

Newt Gingrich       9%

Rick Santorum     1%

 

Question 2: If the election was held today, would you vote for President Obama or Mitt Romney? 

President Obama  19%

Mitt Romney           81%  

 

Question 6: Will the U.S. Senate stay in Democrat control or shift to Republican control?

 

Democrat            31%

Republican             69%

 

Question 7: Do you believe capital gains taxes are heading up or down? 

Up                            91%

Down                   9%

 

Question 8: Do you believe 2012 will be a strong, neutral or weak year for equities performance? 

Strong               36%

Neutral                  56%

Weak                  9%

 

Question 9: Do you believe the Department of Labor should redefine the definition of fiduciary for financial advisors giving advice on IRAs?

Yes                  28%

No                          72%

 

Question 10: Will the US economy recover in 2012, stay flat or worsen? 

Recover             38%

Stay flat                55%

Worsen                6% 

  You can read the entire survey results here.